We were relaxing around the dining room table reminiscing about a couple of mission trips we’d taken, and about present ministry. One friend around that table admitted to a loss of purpose due to a critical illness. For decades, this person who had an immeasurable impact in many lives was now pondering what on earth she could do now. Was there any difference to be made? The illness had snatched the activity and purpose, which comes with being a missionary. Now, the adjustment of fatigue and weakness sent her to bed some days. Perhaps she felt defined by the demands of the medical journey, and this left her a slave to the unpleasant.
It wasn’t long before heaven came up in our conversation. Not as an escape, but more as a compass, a reminder of the truth. This world is not our home. Followers of Jesus are going to heaven. When human emotions related to death and loss of purpose get filtered through chronic illness, it’s easy to lose focus. When living becomes about postponing dying, this is when the reality of heaven comes into focus. One can long for heaven to escape suffering, but heaven never has been and never will be an escape. Heaven is a real place! Let me be clear; followers of Jesus are on a journey to this real place.
I’m thankful this world, is not it. There is no hope here, but followers of Jesus often long to go to their heavenly home.
As believers in Jesus, we could talk more about heaven. After all, heaven is our real home. Sometimes my mind wonders what my room will look like there. Do you wonder about this?
“This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” 2 Corinthians 4:17
“And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” Romans 8:23
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Philippians 3:20
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:3
We talk about our homes here as if we will reside in them forever. If you are a believer in Christ Jesus, you will go to heaven at your last breath. Let’s talk about this glorious place. It’s not an escape; it’s our real home.
Being in God’s presence is something we will never be able to comprehend or put in human words, but that’s what heaven will be, being in the presence of God.
I believe walking closely with Jesus on earth prepares one for heaven. His presence in our lives produces a mind of wonder, and the imagination is heightened, causing us to have more thoughts about our blessed home.
“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!” C.S. Lewis
Some days we want to go there. However, one reason the Lord leaves us here is so we can keep sharing about His love. He is patient not wanting anyone to perish(2 Peter 3:9). So, while we are here, let’s talk about heaven and be involved in taking others with us.
For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to His Name (Hebrews 13:14-15).